Saguaro – Pastel Painting

Plein air pastel landscape painting    12 inches x 9 inches     See Pricing
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Yay!! My paintings from Tucson finally arrived intact after a week in transit! (Along with the extra art supplies that I either purchased or received free at PACE. Like I need more stuff.)

This was the very first piece I did out west. It was the first afternoon of the convention and we all painted right on the grounds of the Hilton El Conquistador Resort. It was absolutely amazing to see hundreds and hundreds of plein air painters toiling away at their easels in one spot. We all have the same affliction (an addiction to painting outdoors) and it felt like a communal gathering of like minds. I finished this pastel of my first cactus ever in about an hour and half, and then wandered (wearing my red Faculty hat) through the other artists, providing recommendations when asked. Every level of skill was represented, from absolute newbies to accomplished award winners. And though you might assume that it was a competitive environment, you’d be mistaken. Everyone was extremely kind and generous with all of their comments, questions and suggestions. Ooooohhhmmmm…..


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Kitty Wallis Warm Belgium Mist Paper
Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Picacho – Pastel Painting

Plein air pastel landscape painting    9 inches x 12 inches      See Pricing
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Whoa! Are the shapes and colors in Arizona different or WHAT? This Michigan artist was in total shock. Everything was in a completely different color palette than I’m used to. I needed some heavy duty “looking” at the landscape in front of me to try and capture the arid atmosphere and muted tones. I created this piece on the last day of the convention out at Picacho State Park. I was on the Faculty of the Plein Air Convention and also a Field Painter when we were at the painting locations. I demonstrated my own painting technique and helped other artists who needed suggestions with theirs.

I was very lucky that Pastel Master Albert Handell stopped at my easel that day. He looked and looked at my pastel piece. Then he picked up a bright pink pastel and said “May I?” I of course agreed, thinking he was going to completely change the piece and that I would learn a ton from him. He made two pink strokes near the bush in the foreground. That was it! (Thank you Tracy Haines for the photo! It means a lot to me!)


This artwork was created with:
Paper: UArt Pastel Paper mounted on board
Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Black Pond Reflections – Pastel Painting

Pastel waterscape painting    18 inches x 12 inches
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

My Arizona paintings have not arrived back from Tucson yet. Hope they make it in one piece!

I had a burst of energy and inspiration after the Plein Air Convention. I just finished this pastel painting I’m donating for auction to the Leslie Science and Nature Center. It’s a scene from their pond in the midst of wooded acres filled with hiking trails. Leslie is a great community treasure which enables individuals and communities throughout Southeastern Michigan to establish lifelong connections with the natural world and encourages efforts to support and protect it for future generations. Years ago my advertising agency choose them as one of our pro bono charities, and I was honored to create this piece to support their organization.

The painting will be available at their Mayfly Event on Saturday, May 21st in Ann Arbor, MI. You can register to attend the event here:

This artwork was created with:
Paper: Kitty Wallis Warm Belgium Mist Paper
Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Jill Stefani Wagner Interview on Plein Air Painting

I’m just back from a fantastic time as a faculty member at the Plein Air Convention in Tucson. #PACE16   It was one of the most enlightening, fascinating and fun experiences I’ve ever had. I met some of my all-time heroes and learned so much my head is spinning. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their outdoor painting. I’m hoping to return next year in San Diego. Right now I’m trying to catch up on sleep, answer emails and commission requests, but thought I would post this video interview that was created for my solo show at 212 Arts Center by Saline Community Television. They did a fantastic job for an artist who had never done this before—and had a serious case of the willies. Thank you SCTN and Two Twelve Arts Center!!

This exhibit will come down on April 27, so stop by if you can!

Two Twelve Arts Center
216 W. Michigan Avenue, Saline, Michigan
Monday-Friday 9-3 or by appointment

View to the Ocean – Oil Painting

Waterscape Oil Painting     9 x 12 inches   SOLD
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

I received an email from one of my collectors wondering if I would create a commissioned painting of the beach scene that can be see from her friend’s window. She sent me several photos and I cropped the images into various compositions for her to review. She preferred a half-sky and half-land layout for the painting.

I decided to approach the project as I would a plein air piece. I pretoned a linen canvas panel with a sepia color and blocked in the composition with a dark neutral. When I started laying in color I squinted at the photo in the same way I squint when I’m out painting in nature. This helps me eliminate distracting, superfluous “stuff.” One of the problems with using reference photos is they have waaaaay too much information and detail. I can get caught up in exactly replicating the photo with every blade of waving grass and fluttering leaf. Too much. I wanted to keep the shapes simplified and interesting, and just detailed enough so that the painting’s recipient would recognize the view.

My client loved the piece and I’m hoping her friend does too!



This artwork was created on: Linen Panel
Medium: Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Paints and Holbein Duo Aqua Water Soluble Oil

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